Military and Int Chiefs critise secret Iraq Inquiry.

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#1
The 0030 BBC R4 news has just reported that military and intelligence chiefs have critised the idiots decision to hold the Iraq Inquiry in secret. Unfortunately I cannot find any links. I'm sure there will be more in the morning.

I'm glad this has come out because it makes me puke to hear him and his cronies gobbing off and claiming the support of Generals etc when they have no right to contradict him.
 
#5
There have been incidences in history where good intelligence has been ignored because it was not believed and there have equally been incidences of bad intelligence being believed but in those cases the belief had been honest and genuine.
The 2Bs wanted to invade Iraq and I believe that they beefed-up the intelligence to fit their desired scenario. The reason they got away with it was because there were enough people in Parliament and in the general population who were happy to believe the souped-up intelligence and whom were convinced that Sadam had WMD.
The trouble is that beefing-up reports to fit a desired scenario can be explained away as being mislead or drawing the wrong conclusions from the available int. I doubt that heads will roll if it just appears that Blair was mislead by the available int and the emphasis being placed upon it by our allies. If it turns out that they went entirely on the American slant or that they overplayed emphasis for their own ends then that is anoyther matter. We are our own country so any PM who went to war based solely on circumspect US Int has betrayed our Nation. Equally if Blair caused the int, which pointed at not invading, to be altered or had false emphasis deliberately placed upon it then he is guilty of sending our troops to their death for self-advancement. If that were the case then lone patrolling of Hellmond with a catapult might be a fitting atonement.
 
#6
hackle said:
And in The Times:

Lord Guthrie dismisses Gordon Brown's new inquiry on Iraq war

Lord Guthrie's main point is about equipment and whether such matters will be examined by the inquiry, which has no military representative.
You raise an interesting point Hackle. Whatever the reasons for going to war we were not adequately prepared for that war. It would appear that we were blindly following Bush's lead in a war that had no real timetable. There was no immediate threat or danger of deployment by Iraqi troops so why didn't the Government wait until the Army was better equipped?
This surely harks back to the dancing to Bush's tune scenario where Blair offered up British lives without a thought as to the outcome or consequences.
 
#7
Markintime said:
The trouble is that beefing-up reports to fit a desired scenario can be explained away as being mislead or drawing the wrong conclusions from the available int. I doubt that heads will roll if it just appears that Blair was mislead by the available int and the emphasis being placed upon it by our allies.

And there you have it in a nutshell. After 12 months(more like 18 I reckon)and God knows how many millions of pounds, the conclusions of the "far reaching and completely independant"inquiry, which by the way has no-one with any military experience on it!!!will find that no-one is to blame for going to war and that St Tony of Bliar will have "been mislead by intelligence reports from undisclosed sources"and only went to war because "due to the information available, he acted in the best interest of the free world"
Whoever the armed forces minister is when the report is published will be wheeled out and explain at the press conference that "lessons will be learned" and "although mistakes were made, no one is at fault"
No mention will be made of equipment. No mention will be made about the lack of post war planning.And as an after thought someone will mention"our brave troops, who continue to do a magnificent job"

Cynic....... me..........never.
 
#8
The announcement that an inquiry into the Iraq War will be held in private and its results will only be released after the next general election is a political ploy designed to shift blame for the fiasco away from the politicians who carry full responsibility for the web of lies and deception which led to the conflict.

The inquiry announced by Gordon Brown today will not “apportion blame” either – despite the catastrophic decision to go to war against a nation which presented no threat to Britain. This is most certainly a war crime as established by the precedent set by the Nuremburg Military Tribunal (NMT) war crimes trials.

While Mr Brown has a vested interest in ensuring that he has no blame, it is devious of the Conservatives to now pretend outrage. In the period leading directly up to the outbreak of the conflict in March 2003, the Tories criticised the Labour government for “dragging its feet” on the matter and taking too long to launch military action against Iraq. The Tory leader of the time, Iain Duncan-Smith and his top leadership – which included David Cameron – were all enthusiastic supporters of the invasion, and thus all bear equal responsibility for the deaths and suffering it caused.

The blood is on Tory and Labour hands equally, and they should all be held equally accountable for these crimes, no matter what the outcome of this latest cover-up inquiry.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#9
Marktime: the issue I have with your point about kit is that we could have been adequately prepared if we had started making proper preparations before Jan 03.

I was still attending briefings for EX ULAN EAGLE in late '02. The prep for this and other EX was being used as a cover for prep for the Iraq invasion. Not a 'ruse de guerre' to fool the Iraqis but to fool the real Enemy - the MoD who would not allow any preparations as we had not decided to go.

A friend of mine made the decision to charter huge numbers of containers, again ostensibly for EX. If the war had not happened he would have been crucified for wasting millions - as it was his actions saved millions and ensured the availability of containers. Contrast the moral courage of a TA Major on FTRS with the craven skulking of TCH and Blair.

On the issue of WMD - I think this is a red herring. I don't believe the reasons for invading Iraq ever really had much to do with WMD although this was used to 'sell' the war. I believe Blair when he says that Saddam was 'uniquely eveil' and that the Iraqi peoeple deserved to be rid of him. (Unfortunately he is not as unique as I'd like. Kim and Mugabe for a start)

I also believe there were genuine wider strategic hopes for the middle east region. Successfully rifdding the world of Saddam and setting up a vibrant pluralist democracy had it succeeded could have been a catalyst for better things in the ME. It almost started - Qaddafi/Libya certainly read the writing on the walls. A decent Iraq may have offered a chance to clean up Saudi and so on.

There is also oil. You cannot discuss the ME without mentioning oil. Without oil the ME would not be so important. The war was not started to 'steal the oil' or to ensure large profits for oil companies in the way that Guardianista think. That idea is just fatuous. If that was the case we could have made friends with Saddam paid him for the oil made lots of profits and saved the costs of the invasion. It was about trying to bring those assets into the democratic fold where the profits could eb used fro the betterment of the Iraqi people and ultimately for making Iraq and the wider ME into a useful friend a trading partner.

Were we lied to about this. Not really it was all out there but we certainly misdirected as to what was important and what was not. Had it worked we would all be praising Bush/Blair for their moral courage for pressing on in face of considerable opposition. Therefore I think one of the things that the Inquiry should look at is whether the plan shopuld ahve worked or whether it was hopelessly over optimistic from the start.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#10
BuggerAll said:
Marktime: the issue I have with your point about kit is that we could have been adequately prepared if we had started making proper preparations before Jan 03.

I was still attending briefings for EX ULAN EAGLE in late '02. The prep for this and other EX was being used as a cover for prep for the Iraq invasion. Not a 'ruse de guerre' to fool the Iraqis but to fool the real Enemy - the MoD who would not allow any preparations as we had not decided to go.

A friend of mine made the decision to charter huge numbers of containers, again ostensibly for EX. If the war had not happened he would have been crucified for wasting millions - as it was his actions saved millions and ensured the availability of containers. Contrast the moral courage of a TA Major on FTRS with the craven skulking of TCH and Blair.

On the issue of WMD - I think this is a red herring. I don't believe the reasons for invading Iraq ever really had much to do with WMD although this was used to 'sell' the war. I believe Blair when he says that Saddam was 'uniquely eveil' and that the Iraqi peoeple deserved to be rid of him. (Unfortunately he is not as unique as I'd like. Kim and Mugabe for a start)

I also believe there were genuine wider strategic hopes for the middle east region. Successfully rifdding the world of Saddam and setting up a vibrant pluralist democracy had it succeeded could have been a catalyst for better things in the ME. It almost started - Qaddafi/Libya certainly read the writing on the walls. A decent Iraq may have offered a chance to clean up Saudi and so on.

There is also oil. You cannot discuss the ME without mentioning oil. Without oil the ME would not be so important. The war was not started to 'steal the oil' or to ensure large profits for oil companies in the way that Guardianista think. That idea is just fatuous. If that was the case we could have made friends with Saddam paid him for the oil made lots of profits and saved the costs of the invasion. It was about trying to bring those assets into the democratic fold where the profits could eb used fro the betterment of the Iraqi people and ultimately for making Iraq and the wider ME into a useful friend a trading partner.

Were we lied to about this. Not really it was all out there but we certainly misdirected as to what was important and what was not. Had it worked we would all be praising Bush/Blair for their moral courage for pressing on in face of considerable opposition. Therefore I think one of the things that the Inquiry should look at is whether the plan shopuld ahve worked or whether it was hopelessly over optimistic from the start.
A very good post, IMHO. My own feeling was that the WMD were only ever a pretext which would allow the US (and us) to go to war in an attempt to 'realign' the middle east towards democratic pluralism. There will never be anything approaching stability in the region and more widely whilst the majority of the worlds oil supplies are controlled by a mixture of Fascistic despots and feudal oligarchies at war with each other and with the rest of the world.

The significant problems were with the hurried execution of the plan and the absence of planning for post-invasion reconstruction which allowed a manageable situation in Iraq to become largely unmanageable over the course of the summer and autumn of 2003; and with the fact that information campaign, dependent on the expectation of finding WMDs, turned out to be completely wrong.

For what it's worth, my view is that the enquiry needs to focus mainly on the failure to prepare a worthwhile post conflict plan because that is what led to the insurgency getting a grip in Iraq. The fact is that if we (Brits and Americans) had done better in 2003 we wouldn't have created the problems which dogged us for the next six years.
 
#11
BuggerAll said:
Marktime: the issue I have with your point about kit is that we could have been adequately prepared if we had started making proper preparations before Jan 03.

I was still attending briefings for EX ULAN EAGLE in late '02. The prep for this and other EX was being used as a cover for prep for the Iraq invasion. Not a 'ruse de guerre' to fool the Iraqis but to fool the real Enemy - the MoD who would not allow any preparations as we had not decided to go.

A friend of mine made the decision to charter huge numbers of containers, again ostensibly for EX. If the war had not happened he would have been crucified for wasting millions - as it was his actions saved millions and ensured the availability of containers. Contrast the moral courage of a TA Major on FTRS with the craven skulking of TCH and Blair.

On the issue of WMD - I think this is a red herring. I don't believe the reasons for invading Iraq ever really had much to do with WMD although this was used to 'sell' the war. I believe Blair when he says that Saddam was 'uniquely eveil' and that the Iraqi peoeple deserved to be rid of him. (Unfortunately he is not as unique as I'd like. Kim and Mugabe for a start)

I also believe there were genuine wider strategic hopes for the middle east region. Successfully rifdding the world of Saddam and setting up a vibrant pluralist democracy had it succeeded could have been a catalyst for better things in the ME. It almost started - Qaddafi/Libya certainly read the writing on the walls. A decent Iraq may have offered a chance to clean up Saudi and so on.

There is also oil. You cannot discuss the ME without mentioning oil. Without oil the ME would not be so important. The war was not started to 'steal the oil' or to ensure large profits for oil companies in the way that Guardianista think. That idea is just fatuous. If that was the case we could have made friends with Saddam paid him for the oil made lots of profits and saved the costs of the invasion. It was about trying to bring those assets into the democratic fold where the profits could eb used fro the betterment of the Iraqi people and ultimately for making Iraq and the wider ME into a useful friend a trading partner.

Were we lied to about this. Not really it was all out there but we certainly misdirected as to what was important and what was not. Had it worked we would all be praising Bush/Blair for their moral courage for pressing on in face of considerable opposition. Therefore I think one of the things that the Inquiry should look at is whether the plan shopuld ahve worked or whether it was hopelessly over optimistic from the start.
A 100% first class post.
 
#12
I agree that marktime's recent post has great value. Does anyone know where evidence must be submitted to the Iraq Inquiry?
 
#14
parapauk said:
Ex-Grenadier said:
I agree that marktime's recent post has great value. Does anyone know where evidence must be submitted to the Iraq Inquiry?
Real evidence or 'war crimes' ramblings?
I'm referring to serious, factual evidence that some users of this website can and might wish to provide. The Chairman of the Iraq Inquiry is more than capable of sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
EX-Gren

Why not write to the chairman of the Inquiry with a precise of your evidence. I'm sure if you addressed it c/o No 10 it would get to him. I'd send it recorded if I was you. You could even put a self addressed envelope to ask for an acknowledgment. If you don't get it complain to your MP.

As you say he can sort out the wheat from the chaff.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#16
It is an interesting reflection of Brown's thought processes that he thinks the Inquiry needs to be held in private because he thinks that military people might not be willing to be candid in public. I suppose that some one who knows nothing of integrity, morale courage, leadership but lives by lies and spin would think like that.
 
#17
The enquiry on offer seems to lining us all up for a report on how the mission went wrong, rather than how Project Iraq came about in the first place. As Sir John Walker said in the Independent article, "If there is anything particularly secret – and God knows there is precious little left secret over Iraq – then that can be heard in camera." Do we really need to be told what we already know: the mission was poorly planned in regards political timing and preparation and equipment was often inappropriate and/or lacking etc etc?

What is missing from the public domain is an understanding of how and why Project Iraq ever came about. An understanding that is believed and trusted as being genuine and accurate and not just another 'story' to keep us guessing.

Surely the public needs an open and transparent discussion into how some groteseque errors in policy decision making could come to pass. I would suggest the following would actually be useful.

1. How did an experimental project to build democratic states in the Middle East, using the violent removal of one dictator as an example to all, come to gain credibility in the corridors of power? Remember, this was no more than an academic wet dream that had no credibility for many, many years until ... ??? What changed this dynamic? What drove the idea so deep that the delusion was so gripping that not only did the policy gain credibility, that it also became a done deal that would happen virtually instantly? A delusion that has resulted in a strengthened not weakened or 'liberal democratic' Iran, Saudi et al.

2. How did Project Iraq come to become more important than Project Afghanistan? Project Afghanistan is far from succeeding and has, moreover, spilled into Pakistan. We are repeatedly told how important the success in Afghanistan is to UK national security and interests. So, why did Project Iraq usurp these crucial interests? In what way did this diversion of effort and resources benefit the UK?

3. WMD. Why did this falsehood gain such prominence? The question of WMD is central to the justification for war. It may well be the case that Project Iraq would have occured regardless of WMD. However, it was the alleged existance of WMD which provided the veil of legality to the Project. Did the policy makers delude themselves as to the non-existance of WMD, or did they deliberately manipulate the intelligence to create the illusion? Would the UK Parliament have voted for war in the absence of (alleged) WMD?

Project Iraq has brought the motivations and intentions of the 'liberal western world' into serious question. A majority of the world's population now wonder whether Project Iraq was a war of good intentions or one of colonial conquest. It's a genuine perception that drives so much anti-US and anti-UK feeling. This perception encourages the disenfranchised to take up arms, or support those who wish to do us harm. This perception may be false, but how does one convince those with it, that it is false.

We find ourselves in this situation due to grotesque errors of political judgement and policy - some may well be criminally negligent. Until those errors are fully and transparently considered, there will be no lessons learned.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Buggerall, I don't think the welfare of the Iraqi people came into it at No.1 although there was plenty of evidence that said Saddam was being rather a sh!t to them. I think the main driver which B & B did not dare discuss was the need to remove Saddam before he finally developed a system for delivering WMD to Israel. I believe he was motivated by the knowledge that a major strike at Israel would make him the unchallenged leader of the Muslim world, a role Ahmedadjin (sp, can't be bothered) is now aiming for, and an ambition which had inspired Nasser and Gaddafi. The Israelis had scotched Saddam's reactor and with it his option of a proper nuclear strike. Nevertheless he went ahead with Dr Bull's supergun (scotched by HM Customs eventually, you can go and see it at Fort Nelson) and extending the range of Scud, which would have given him viable delivery systems. For the warhead he had three options left out of four: bio, chemical (with which he had already practiced at Fallujah) and a radiation payload. Chemical probably disperses too quickly (more of a battelfield tactical option) to be option 1 in this case and with bio it is difficult to ensure you get the effect you want. However the irradiation option, delivered as an airburst, could have been just the job for making an urban complex like Tel Aviv uninhabitable for a very long time. As Saddam had neither intention nor means actually to invade Israel on the ground there was no risk to own tps (if he even cared about that) and any Palestinians caught up in this, well, do you suppose he cared about them either? None of the other Arabs give a toss for them, why should he?

If he had been left in place and had suceeded the political fallout would have been enormous, perhaps not short of a world war against Islam, since the West could hardly stand by and see the only democracy in the
area destroyed. Therefore, we had to get in and remove Saddam before he raised the game beyond our capacity to stop him.

As it was he ran rings round the inspectors and may well have left thousand of WMD rounds stashed away either in Syria or in his own (vast) desert. The 45-minute claim I have always thought referred to the lead time for approving and using these in a battlefield context since the decision to use can hardly be left to battery commanders. I don't think Blair with his glib, and essentially civilian, approach ever bothered to study the difference between strategic and tactical weapons and suchlike minor technicalities. What let Blair down was his contempt for the British public - feed us any old fable (something in which he clearly schooled his successor).

The bottom line for me is that I think we were right to go to war to get rid of Saddam, criminally wrong to let political pusillanimity prevent proper pre-ordering of kit for our troops, and the US made a complete balls of the aftermath - but that's not the same as saying we shouldn't have gone in in the first place.

Iraqis will go on killing each other anyway, it's what Arabs do, locked into their contemptible mediaeval mindset.

As you say, it was never about oil which was there for the asking all the time as long as we paid the bills and that gave Saddam, a documented murderer, secure funding for his dictatorship.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#19
I've just listened to Gen Dannat on the 1700hrs news on BFBS come as close as he could to saying that he would prefer an mostly open Inquiry to a secret one. He even mentioned that as a serving officer he could not say something that runs contrary to government policy. The Gen must be lying because we know he supports a secret Inquiry because in the same report Balls, one of Brown principle lackeys said the defence chiefs backed the secret Inquiry. I suppose there are 2 other possibilities. Maybe Brown doesn't reckon the General is a defence chief or perhaps Brown and his cronies are lying - He's got form you know.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#20
whitecity said:
1. How did an experimental project to build democratic states in the Middle East, using the violent removal of one dictator as an example to all, come to gain credibility in the corridors of power? Remember, this was no more than an academic wet dream that had no credibility for many, many years until ... ??? What changed this dynamic? What drove the idea so deep that the delusion was so gripping that not only did the policy gain credibility, that it also became a done deal that would happen virtually instantly? A delusion that has resulted in a strengthened not weakened or 'liberal democratic' Iran, Saudi et al.
With the election of George W Bush and with the installation of an activist Republican regime in the US, heavily influenced by 'Neo Con' ideology.

2. How did Project Iraq come to become more important than Project Afghanistan? Project Afghanistan is far from succeeding and has, moreover, spilled into Pakistan. We are repeatedly told how important the success in Afghanistan is to UK national security and interests. So, why did Project Iraq usurp these crucial interests? In what way did this diversion of effort and resources benefit the UK?
Based on the flawed assumption that Iraq would be a 'domino' for the rest of the Middle East, including Afghan. If you assume that the dominoes will start to topple towards a democratic middle east when one potentially wealthy, succesful democratic state is created. the order you do the rest in doesn't matter that much.

3. WMD. Why did this falsehood gain such prominence? The question of WMD is central to the justification for war. It may well be the case that Project Iraq would have occured regardless of WMD. However, it was the alleged existance of WMD which provided the veil of legality to the Project. Did the policy makers delude themselves as to the non-existance of WMD, or did they deliberately manipulate the intelligence to create the illusion? Would the UK Parliament have voted for war in the absence of (alleged) WMD?
The assumption was that Saddam had retained WMD capability which would be found after he was deposed. The evidence that he had got rid of WMD was no better than the evidence he had kept it and we knew very well that he had WMD in the past and had continued to show an interest.

I agree that the misjudgments encapsulated in my short answers above have had grave consequences, but they looked attractive and credible at the time. No doubt, if it had worked as planned, we would all be happy now but, of course, it didn't. The fact that judgments like these should have been allowed to drive policy is another matter and really begs questions about the checks and balances in the US and UK constitutions.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top